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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Providence Burial Ground, Edenton

  • Type

    Plaque

  • Subjects

    Historic African American Figures

    Revolutionary War, 1775-1783

    African American Monuments

    Local History

    Historic Women Figures

  • City

    Edenton

  • County

    Chowan

  • Description

    The Providence Burial Ground memorial is a simple, square, bronze tablet with a blackened background attached to a lectern shaped granite block several feet high.

    Images: Providence Burial Ground (African American Cemetery, 18th-19th centuries)

  • Inscription

    PROVIDENCE BURIAL GROUND / ESTABLISHED IN THE LATE 18TH CENTURY, THIS AFRICAN / AMERICAN CEMETERY IS THE FINAL RESTING PLACE FOR MANY / FREE BLACKS, SLAVES, AND EMANCIPATED PEOPLE BURIED HERE / THROUGH THE LATE 19TH CENTURY. AMONG THOSE INTERRED / HERE ARE SEVERAL FAMILY MEMBERS OF THOMAS BARNWELL, A / FREE BLACK PROPERTY OWNER; MOLLY HORNIBLOW, A FREE BLACK / BUSINESSWOMAN AND GRANDMOTHER OF AUTHOR AND / ABOLITIONIST HARRIET JACOBS, AND JONATHAN OVERTON, A / FREE BLACK VETERAN OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, A PRIVATE IN / THE 10TH N.C. REGIMENT OF THE CONTINENTAL LINE. / RECONSECRATED FEBRUARY 22, 2001

  • Custodian

    Providence Baptist Church

  • Dedication Date

    February 22, 2001

  • Decade

    2000s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.064120 , -76.615820 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Providence Burial Ground," Find A Grave, findagrave.com, (accessed July 23, 2020) Link

      Henderson, Deborah Lafayette, "What lies beneath: reading the cultural landscape of graveyard and burial grounds in African-American history and Literature" (2008). ETD Collection for AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. Paper 61

      North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Department of Cultural Resources. "Edenton Historic District Boundary Increase 2 and Additional Documentation. Edenton, Chowan County, CO1185, Listed 9/28/2007. Nomination by Michelle Michael. Photographs by Michelle Michael, March 2007." National Register of Historic Places, (accessed July 23, 2020) Link

      “Black Heritage Travel: Southeastern United States: North Carolina,” African American History and Heritage Site, (accessed February 28, 2020) Link

      “Edenton, North Carolina: an Historic Town,” American History for Travelers, americanhistory4travelers.com, (accessed July 24, 2020) Link

      “Providence Burial Ground,” Visitnc.com, (accessed February 28, 2020) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, granite

  • Subject Notes

    Burial ground of prominent African-American, free blacks and military people from late 18th century and 19th century. Notables buried there include: Thomas Barnswell, free black and noted builder; Molly Horniblow, grandmother of author and abolitionist Harriet Jacobs; Jonathon Overton, Private of Continental Line of Captain Jones Company, 10th regiment.

    The burial ground has about thirty known graves, most marked by 4 foot high white posts absent of names and years of birth and death. The exact location of the burial ground had been forgotten over time. Its location was confirmed in 2000 covered in years of overgrowth. Much of what is known about the cemetery history comes from Harriet A. Jacobs's (1813-1897) memoir Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

  • Location

    The Providence Burial Ground (African American Cemetery, 18th-19th centuries) is located at 306 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Edenton, NC 27932

  • Landscape

    Grassy lot with scattered trees next to Filbert’s Creek.

  • Death Space

    Yes

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